Police entered Thessaloniki university amid unrest

Security forces enter campus for first time since fall of junta; in Athens 13 arrested and 90 questioned

Riot police officers entered the grounds of Thessaloniki University on Thursday evening, during scuffles that broke out during a protest rally marking a student uprising in 1973 that led to the fall of Greece’s junta.

It the first time security forces have been permitted onto a university campus since the early 1980s when a law was passed banning them from institutions of higher education without the prior permission of a prosecutor. The law was repealed in August as part of a broader education overhaul.

The officers entered the grounds of the Aristotle University after a group of demonstrators they had been chasing took refuge in one of the university faculties. Police detained one of the youths for questioning and swiftly withdrew from the university grounds, witnesses said.

While the police operation had been underway, members of the university senate, and students, had been watching a concert conducted by the composer Thanos Mikroutsikos in the main university auditorium.

Meanwhile, police in Athens said they had arrested a total of 13 people and briefly detained another 90 during a demonstration in Athens marking the student uprising.

Police said the arrests were carried out after groups of youths attacked police with stones, chunks of marble, sticks and homemade firebombs.

One of the suspects arrested has been hospitalized under police guard as, in his attempt to avoid arrest, he jumped from a large height and sustained serious injuries when he fell, officers said without providing details.

Police said 14 officers were injured in the Athens unrest.


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